SRI LANKA WILL ELIMINATE PALM OIL PLANTATIONS AND STOP IMPORTS, HISTORICAL DECISION

Environmentalists welcomed the surprise decision by the Sri Lankan government to ban imports of palm oil into the country and eliminate existing plantations by replacing them with rubber trees over the next decade.

The group of experts identified several issues related to the number of palm oil plantations with intensive monocultures in the area, including extreme soil erosion and drying of water sources.

According to the experts’ report, the oil palm risks becoming an invasive species with unpredictable consequences on native flora and fauna. For example, not being a native plant and therefore not having natural pollinators, in addition to the oil palm, African oil palm weevils were also introduced, not knowing what effect the introduction of a new species of insects could have on the environment.

The palm oil tree grows quickly and, for this reason, it requires a high rate of water consumption, especially during its growth phase, which raises concerns that it may drain local waterways. moreover, it does not have any undergrowth or association, so biodiversity is not favored in any way.